HIV Testing in Nashville’s Transitional Grant Area
Know Your Status
We all have HIV status. And we all share a responsibility for knowing what our status is.
Find out if yours is negative or positive today!
Greater Nashville Area HIV Testing
Or, visit the CDC’s Get Tested website to find free, fast, and confidential testing near you.
HIV TESTING – WHAT TO EXPECT
Whether it’s your first test or your fifth test, you may find yourself feeling apprehensive about the procedure. Just remember: knowing is better than not knowing.
Rest assured that your HIV test and any information relating to the test is totally confidential.
Typically, HIV is diagnosed by testing your blood or a sample of cells swabbed from the inside of your cheek. Your blood of cells will be tested for the presence of antibodies. Some HIV tests aren’t accurate immediately following infection because it may take anywhere from three to 12 weeks for your body to make enough antibodies to be detected by an antibody test. If you have engaged in a behavior that has put you at increased risk, you should repeat the test in three months.
You may be asked to complete a short questionnaire of personal questions regarding sexual practices and demographics. This information is only used for data collection purposes. This data is important in determining which populations are being testing, where testing efforts can be improved and other community profiles regarding HIV. Be honest, so that the counselor will have a better understanding of your needs and risk for HIV.
A nurse, phlebotomist, or other trained HIV test administrator will draw a small vial of blood from your forearm for laboratory testing. The blood draw takes approximately 30 seconds. Generally speaking, you will return to the clinic within 2 weeks for your results.
Alternatively, quick swab test that looks for antibodies on the mucosal membranes in your oral cavity may be administered. Swab tests typically offer results in approximately 20 minutes and are useful in situations where there may be exposure to the virus, such as a nightclub or bar, and where immediate results are necessary.
If you’re having a blood test, the two-week waiting period may be one of the most stressful parts of the process. Take this time to reflect on your sexual behaviors or practices that may have put you at risk and think about what could be done to make them safer. You may want to find a friend to talk to who has been through the testing and wait period. During this time we recommend that you avoid online “horror stories” and reading about HIV symptoms, as this will only increase your level of anxiety.
HIV Test Results
You must return to your testing site or clinic on the designated date to receive your blood test results. Negative oral tests are generally given at the time of testing. Regardless of the type of HIV test you take, a positive result will necessitate follow-up testing to establish a definitive diagnosis of HIV. In the event of a positive test result, a Counselor will provide you with information regarding further evaluation and possible treatment.
There are many treatment options and medical service providers for those who are newly diagnosed with HIV. It is critical to develop a strong support network of counselors, medical professionals, and trusted friends and family members. If you are concerned about treatment costs, speak to your Counselor about the Ryan White Federal Program.
Early Treatment = Better Quality of Life.